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Les portes de Linares, 1989

The Gates of Linares, 1989
Installation, 300 m2 de terra

Jordi Benito (Granollers, 1951 – Barcelona, 2008) was one of the most radical Catalan artists in the period that runs from the 1970s to the early 21st century. After his first conceptual actions as part of the Grup de Treball, where he experimented with minimal natural elements, the discovery of body art led him to highly complex, theatrical performances where painting, music and ritual were employed in the quest for the total work of art. Often taking the resistance of his own body to the limit, his actions throughout the 1980s explored notions of the sacred, mystery and sacrifice. The Gates of Linares condenses these characteristics and represents the moment he abandons performance for large-scale installation. In this proposal, Benito left behind his more radical action art, with its Wagnerian references, finding a renewed starting point in Goya, tauromachy, the image of the Passion of Christ and the music of Carles Santos. With its eight fragments or episodes, the installation brings together a multiplicity of components, whether literary, historical, experiential or sacred, which taken together enhance the symbolic values of the materials employed.

The Gates of Linares is the staging of a suspended moment. It recalls the events which occurred in 1947 in the Linares bullring, when the bullfighter Manolete, who Benito considered to be the total artist, was killed after being gored on the same day he had chosen for his career finale. Benito’s gaze, however, picks up on the testimony of the bull’s life. Tools and materials from farm life and rural trades are arranged as still lifes, or raised in crosses as an image of the Passion, contrasting with civilising features, which appear in clear decadence. The bulls’ bodies are suspended in the air, in the act of falling, while pianos are placed with their keyboards against the wall or about to break in half. In turn, a block of calcium carbonate known as ‘blanco de España’ receives the impact of a bull’s dead weight, fracturing the white pigment. With the death of total art, the artist sees himself in the body of the bull, as both are held in suspension over the piano of Carles Santos.


Technical details

Original title:
Les portes de Linares
Registration number:
RT.0026
Artist:
Benito, Jordi
Date created:
1989
Status:
On display
Fonds:
MACBA Collection. Barcelona City Council long-term. Gift of Rafael Tous (in process of being incorporated)
Object type:
Installation
Media:
Various materials
Dimensions:
300 m2 de terra
Room:
Meier Building, Level 0
Credits:
MACBA Collection. Long-term loan of Barcelona City Counil. Gift of Rafael Tous
Copyright:
© Jordi Benito, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:
No

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

If you need a high resolution image of the work, you must submit an image loan request.

One always arrives to at something which one can no longer depict.
Dieter Roth